77

Can I print to destination "Save as PDF" from a command line with Chrome or Chromium? I'd like to be able to automatically convert html files to PDF with Chrome's built-in functionality.

4
  • @golimar It is not a virtual printer. Chrome has a built-in option to export to pdf.
    – ipavlic
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 19:23
  • 1
    I don't see any built-in Chrome switches for saving as PDF.
    – Karan
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 1:07
  • @Karan When you go to Print there should be a Save to PDF destination available for you to choose. It's also clearly stated on Google's support page: support.google.com/chrome/bin/…
    – ipavlic
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 8:56
  • 2
    Perhaps my previous comment wasn't clear. You wanted to know how to do this from the command line, and what I wanted to say was that Chrome/Chromium seem to have no command-line switches/params to do this, although I know you can do it from the UI. You'll need to find some way of triggering the Save As option, perhaps by sending mouse clicks or key strokes.
    – Karan
    Commented May 10, 2013 at 14:36

7 Answers 7

5

Instead of calling up an entire web-browser, why not use the HTML rendering engine only to do the work? Use wkhtmltopdf to perform the conversion.

wktohtml

You can also convert an existing website to PDF

$ wkhtmltopdf http://google.com google.pdf

Note: technically Google Chrome's rendering engine is Blink, which is a fork of Webkit. There is >90% of common code between Blink and Webkit, so you should get a similar result.

10
  • Note from having tried this and getting subtle things missing or broken: wkhtmltopdf's source contains QtWebkit patches that enable important features such as clickable links. Your distribution's package is likely to be missing such features if it lists your distribution's usual qtwebkit package as a dependency. Installing wkhtmltopdf from source takes 3.7GiB of disk and some hours.
    – Anko
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 10:41
  • 63
    -1 This answer does not correspond to the question, wkhtmltox is a great tool but it does not perform as well as chrome or firefox on exporting to PDF. Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 0:25
  • 11
    can't recommend it either, if you have sophisticated CSS wkhtmltopdf is useless.
    – MushyPeas
    Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 19:24
  • 3
    SVGs are not rendered. Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 13:42
  • 1
    -1 wkhtmltopdf is severely lacking for CSS3 documents
    – arielnmz
    Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 4:58
75

Chrome has started headless program.

With that, we can create a pdf. e.g. for windows navigate your commandline to

C:\Users\{{your_username}}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application>

Then hit the command:

chrome --headless --print-to-pdf="d:\\{{path and file name}}.pdf" https://google.com
5
  • Just a heads up, if you have any existing instance of Chrome running on Windows the command won't work. Kill all Chrome processes first, then it will work. There might be a flag to work around this inconvenience. Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 17:17
  • 2
    @JohnLeidegren (at least) as of Chrome for Windows Version 66.0.3359.139 (Official Build) (64-bit), this works without killing any Chrome processes.
    – naitsirhc
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 18:50
  • 7
    Note that you can use --user-data-dir="C:\Users\...\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data to run under your user's Chrome profile. This is useful, for example, for exporting content from a website that requires users to be logged in, since session cookies are available.
    – naitsirhc
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 18:54
  • @naitsirhc FYI, I've found puppeteer to be a really good alternative to the command line stuff, if you trying to do something more elaborate. It has a nice API to remote chromium to do various tasks, it also manages versions for you. Very nice. Commented May 17, 2018 at 7:39
  • SVGs are rendered incorrectly Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 13:42
26

You must be using Google Chrome / Chromium 59 or later version & it’s only available for MAC OS and Linux users.

* Windows users still have to wait for some time till Version 60 *

Command :

$ google-chrome --headless --disable-gpu --print-to-pdf=file1.pdf http://www.example.com/

$ chromium-browser --headless --disable-gpu --print-to-pdf=file1.pdf http://www.example.com/

Reference : https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2017/04/headless-chrome

EDIT : Google Chrome / Chromium 60 has been rolled out for windows users.

Command usage in CMD :

C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application> chrome.exe --headless --disable-gpu --print-to-pdf=file1.pdf http://www.example.com/

Your pdf file naming file1.pdf will be save in

"C:\Program Files or (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\60.0.3112.113 (chrome-version)\file1.pdf"

2
  • 1
    --disable-gpu should not be necessary anymore in most recent versions.
    – Déjà vu
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 6:47
  • 1
    this creates a MUCH better/consistent output than wkhtmltopdf or weasyprint
    – ierdna
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 14:53
4

https://github.com/fraserxu/electron-pdf was designed exactly for this purpose.

The CLI looks like this: $ electron-pdf http://fraserxu.me ~/Desktop/fraserxu.pdf

3
3

I wrote a little wrapper script for Chrome{,ium} headless, called html2pdf.
Ghostscript is in there to reduce the file size, and to select a range of pages:

#!/bin/sh -eu
in=$1 out=$2 page0=${3:-} page1=${4:-$page0}
${CHROME:-chromium} --headless --disable-gpu \
    --run-all-compositor-stages-before-draw --print-to-pdf-no-header \
    --print-to-pdf="$out" "$in"
GS_ARGS=
if [ -n "$page0" ]; then
        GS_ARGS="-dFirstPage=$page0 -dLastPage=$page1"
fi
gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH $GS_ARGS -sOutputFile="$2.tmp" "$2"
mv "$2.tmp" "$2"

Example usage:

html2pdf https://ucm.dev/resume.html ucm.pdf 1
3
1

Successfully did a batch conversion of local html files to PDF -- sharing the approach.

Navigate to a folder containing a batch of html files you want to convert...

for %f in (*.html) do (
start /wait chrome --headless --disable-gpu --print-to-pdf="C:/[DESTINATION FOLDER PATH]%f.pdf" "C:/[SOURCE HTML FILE FOLDER PATH -- ALSO CURRENT FOLDER]%f"
)

Note -- must use forward slash to avoid negating the %f in the file path.

0

Can use this simple library from nuget package

For .Net Framework https://www.nuget.org/packages/Sats.HTMLtoPdf

For Core 3.1 https://www.nuget.org/packages/Sats.Core.HTMLToPdf

Usage#

var url = @"d:\convert.html";
var chromePath = @"C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe";

var output = new ChromeOptions().AddOptions(b =>
                    {
                        b.Headless();
                        b.DisableGPU();
                        b.WithoutHeader();

                    }).ToPdf(new ChromeDetails()
                    {
                        ChromePath = chromePath,
                        HtmlPath = url,
                        DeleteOutputFile = true, //optional
                       // OutputPath = @"d:\print.pdf" // (add if Environment.CurrentDirectory does not have access rights)
                    });


   File.WriteAllBytes(@"d:\print.pdf", output.FileDetails.File);

For web application Set Process Model to LocalSystem

enter image description here

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